21 June 2011

Taiwan US visa waiver negotiations proceeding rapidly

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Hsieh Li-kung, the Director- General of Taiwan's National Immigration Agency has reported that that negotiations on securing US visa waiver approval for Taiwanese passport holders are proceeding at a rapid pace.

Hsieh is currently visiting Washington DC, and has said Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is is playing the leading role in the US Visa waiver talks.

However, there are some areas where Hsieh's National Immigration Agency are required to be involved, such as anti-terrorism cooperation, anti-human trafficing and documentation verification. Speaking on these matters, Hsieh stated that the two sides had reached a high degree of consensus, and he hoped the US could come to a decision soon so Taiwan could be added to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP),

The VWP allows foreign nationals from certain countries to travel in America for a period of 90 days for business or pleasure without having to obtain a paper visa in advance.  However, travelers must apply for an ESTA before travelling.

In cases where the foreign national does not hold a passport which meets new immigration requirements (i.e. contains a digital photo and machine readable text), they will still need to apply for a B-type Visitor Visa.

The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their ESTA application to the US Embassy.

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